US 20050155597 A1
A lighting assembly for a cooking apparatus including a handle, an arm and a light source. The arm is movably joined with the handle so that the arm is selectively movable from a position in which it is concealed at least partially in the handle to another position where the arm projects out from the handle and over a cooking surface when a cover of the cooking apparatus is in an open position. By adjusting the position of the arm, the light source can be aimed at the surface to monitor the cooking of food in low light conditions. In one embodiment, the lighting assembly includes a head, with which the light source is joined, that is movably mounted to the arm to provide an added degree of adjustment for aiming the light source at the cooking surface, and/or a work surface when included.
1. A cooking apparatus comprising:
a cooking surface;
a cover pivotable about a substantially horizontal axis to an open position wherein the cooking surface is exposed, and to a closed position wherein the cooking surface is substantially concealed;
a housing joined with the cover, the housing defining a recess, the housing operable as a handle to manipulate the cover to the open position and to the closed position;
an arm pivotally mounted to the housing, the arm selectively movable to a first position wherein the arm is disposed at least partially in the recess, and to a second position wherein the arm pivots out from the recess to a location above the cooking surface when the cover is in the open position; and
a head including a light source, the head selectively moveable relative to the arm so that the light source aims at the cooking surface when the cover is in the open position, and so that the head is disposed at least partially in the recess when the arm is in the first position.
2. The cooking apparatus of
3. The cooking apparatus of
4. The cooking apparatus of
5. The cooking apparatus of
6. The cooking apparatus of
7. The cooking apparatus of
8. The cooking apparatus of
9. The cooking apparatus of
10. A lighting assembly for a cooking apparatus including a cooking surface and a cover comprising:
a housing defining an elongated recess that is open to the environment, the housing including an end;
a connector joined with the end and further joined with at least one of the cover, a bracket joined with the cover, and a handle joined the cover to hold the housing in a fixed position relative to the cover;
an arm joined with the housing, the arm selectively movable to a first position wherein the arm is at least partially in the recess and substantially concealed from view by the housing, and a second position wherein the arm projects out from the recess and over the cooking surface when the cover is in an open position; and
a light source joined with the arm, the light source illuminating the cooking surface when the arm is in the second position.
11. The lighting assembly of
12. The lighting assembly of
13. The lighting assembly of
14. The lighting assembly of
15. The lighting assembly of
16. A lighting assembly for a cooking apparatus including a cooking surface and a cover comprising:
a handle defining an aperture that opens to the environment, the handle joined with the cover;
a pivot element joined with the handle;
an arm joined with and pivot element, the arm selectively pivotable about the pivot element to a first position wherein the arm is substantially concealed in the handle, and to a second position wherein the arm projects out from the handle aperture and over the cooking surface when the cover is in an open position;
a head including a light source, the head moveably mounted to the arm so that the head is adapted to position over the cooking surface and so that the light source is adapted to aim at the cooking surface when the arm is in the second position; and
a power source coupled to and powering the light source when the light source is aimed at the cooking surface.
17. The lighting assembly of
18. The lighting assembly of
19. A method for preparing an outdoor grill, which includes a cooking surface and a cover, for cooking food comprising:
grasping a handle, the handle being joined with an arm that is substantially concealed in the handle and selectively movable relative to the housing, the arm being further joined with a light source;
moving the handle to open the cover and expose the cooking surface to the environment;
moving the arm relative to the handle, after the handle moving step, so that at least a portion of the arm projects outward from the handle to a position over the cooking surface, the light source moving with the arm; and
aiming the light source at the cooking surface so that the light source illuminates the cooking surface.
20. The method of
This application claims benefit to U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/537,878, filed Jan. 21, 2004, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
The present invention relates to a light for a cooking apparatus and, more particularly, to a light for illuminating a cooking surface and/or work surfaces of a barbecue grill.
Over seventy-six percent of households in the United States use barbecue grills. One industry association estimates that approximately sixty-nine percent of gas grill owners use their grills year round as the primary household cooking appliance. It has also been confirmed that many grills are used under low light conditions during evening and nighttime hours. Under such conditions, it is difficult for users to manipulate cooked food or monitor the state of food cooked with the grill.
One attempt to provide light for cooking in low light conditions is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,132,055 to Grisamore. There, a tube is attached with separate brackets to the lid of a grill. The tube serves as a handle for the lid and also includes bulbs fixedly disposed within the tube, which can illuminate the grill. Although this construction provides illumination, it requires precise alignment of the tube within the brackets, and the lights—which are fixedly positioned in the tube—with the grilling surface.
The aforementioned problems are overcome in the present invention which provides a lighting assembly for a cooking apparatus including a handle, a movable arm and a light source. The handle is mountable to a cooking apparatus cover and defines a recess. The arm is joined with the handle, and is selectively movable from a position at least partially in the recess to another position projecting over the cooking surface when the cover is in an open position. The light source is joined with the arm and illuminates a cooking surface and/or work surface when the arm is over the cooking surface and/or work surface.
In one embodiment, the lighting assembly can include a head that is movably secured to the arm. The light source can be disposed in or joined with the head. A user can move the head and aim the light source at the cooking surface, surroundings and/or a work surface. The head can be joined with the arm so that when the arm is disposed in the recess of the handle, the head is as well.
In another embodiment, the lighting assembly can include a power interrupt for the light source. The interrupt “breaks” contact between adjacent power sources, e.g. battery cells, thereby cutting power to the light source when the arm is at least partially in the recess. When the arm is removed from the recess and projects over a surface, the interrupt is disabled, the cells achieve electrical communication and power is provided to the light source.
In yet another embodiment, the handle can be formed from a single piece of material to provide an integral, single piece handle, which can be secured to the cover of the cooking apparatus.
In a further embodiment, the arm can be formed from an articulating coil that provides a wide range of lighting configurations to illuminate a cooking surface and/or a work surface.
In yet another embodiment, the lighting assembly can be secured to a cooking apparatus handle with brackets. Such a construction is suitable for add-on lighting applications.
The present invention provides a durable and highly adjustable lighting assembly for a cooking apparatus. When not in use, the light source and arm can be safely stored within the handle of the assembly—out of the way during daytime cooking. Furthermore, with the light source temporarily stored in the handle, it is protected from both damage during daytime cooking and/or excessive smoke residue caused by the light being exposed to the grilling surface during every use of the cooking apparatus. Further, the arm enables the user to focus light on the cooking surface with minimal effort, and without the need to disassemble and reattach the handle to the lid. When the optional movable head is included with the assembly, the light source is even more precisely configurable. Finally, when the optional interrupt is included in the assembly, the opportunity to exhaust the light source power supply is reduced because the light is turned off automatically when the arm is stored away.
These and other objects, advantages and features of the invention will be more readily understood and appreciated by reference to the detailed description of the invention and the drawings.
A lighting assembly for a cooking apparatus incorporating an embodiment of the invention is shown in
Because the arm 20 is movably mounted to the housing 12, when not in use, the arm 20 and light source 40 can be moved to a second position shown in
With reference to
The housing further includes ends 18 which can be of a larger, smaller, or the same cross section as the remainder of the housing 12. Joined with the ends are connectors to form a complete handle for the lid 1 10. The ends 18 of the housing can fit in or over the ends of the connectors as shown in FIGS. 2 or 3. The connectors 17 can be fastened with conventional fasteners, such as bolts, screws, pins, dowels—or even welded or glued to the lid 110. Accordingly, with this construction it is unnecessary to have brackets to attach the completed handle to the lid 110.
The connectors 17 and housing 12, and other components of the light assembly 10, can be constructed from one or multiple pieces of material(s). Suitable materials include, for example, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polycarbonate (PC), high heat polycarbonate (HPC), polyamide (PA), unsaturated polyester, steel, wood, glass, aluminum, copper, brass, tin or leather. The housing and connectors further can be formed in any practical shape which renders them useful as a handle for raising and lowering the cover 110, for example, an oval, elliptical or other cross section that easily fits the hand of a user.
As shown in
As shown in
With further reference to
To the arm 20, a head 40 can be pivotally joined with another pivot pin 24. The second pivot pin 24 can permit movement of the head from a position substantially aligned with the length of the arm 20 to a plane orthogonal to the plane of movement permitted by the pivot pin 24. In one example, the head can have a range of rotation about the pivot pin 24 of about 45° to about 135°, and optionally about 90°. The head 30 can house a light source 40. The head 30 can be configured so that the light source 40 projects light out any side and/or bottom of the head, depending on the application. More generally, the head 30 is movable relative to the arm 20 so that the light source 40 is aimable at the cooking surface 120 or any other work surface of the grill 100. Although shown joined to the arm 20 with a pivot pin 24, the head 30 may be joined to the arm 20 with a flexible conduit or other connection device.
The light source 40 is in electrical communication with the power source 25 via a conventional connection. The light source 40 can be any light source, for example, a light emitting diode (LED), halogen bulb, HID bulb, an incandescent bulb, or a fluorescent bulb. The light source also can be replaceable relative to the head. Furthermore, multiple light sources can be arranged in proximity to form a cluster, capsule, bulb or other array of light sources. Additionally, a reflector element, for example, parabolic reflector (not shown) may be used in conjunction with the light source to better focus the light on the cooking surface.
The power source 25 and/or light source 40 can be in further electrical communication with a switch mechanism 27. As shown, the switch mechanism can be an interrupt that enables the power source 25 to provide power to light source 40 when the arm is in the open position, i.e., when the arm 20 is swung out away from the handle 12 or moved out of the recess 14. The interrupt can also terminate power to the light source 40 when the arm 20 is seated in the recess 14. More specifically, the interrupt “breaks” contact between adjacent power sources, e.g. battery cells 25, thereby cutting power to the light source 40 when the arm 20 is at least partially in the recess or aperture 40. When the arm is swung out from the recess to project over a surface, the interrupt 27 is disabled, and power is provided to the light source 40. Furthermore, interrupts of any shape or design that interrupt the connection between adjacent cells in a multi-cell power source can be used as desired. Other switches may be suitable for use with the light assembly, for example, toggle, position rocker/push and no-touch switches. Further suitable switches are those which power the light source when the grill cover 110 is raised and/or lowered. Examples of such switches include, for example, limit, proximity, reflective and mercury bulb switches. Any combination of the aforementioned switches may also be used.
III. Operation/Method of Use
Operation of the lighting assembly to cook with the cooking apparatus 100 in low light conditions will now be described in connection with
IV. First Alternative Embodiment
A first alternative embodiment of the light assembly is shown in
V. Second Alternative Embodiment
With reference to
In this embodiment, the light source 340 can be powered by a power source disposed in the head 330 or the housing 312, the power source being in electrical communication with the light source 340 as desired. Furthermore, in this configuration, a switch 327, for example, an interrupt, can be joined with the head 330 and the housing 312 as desired. Other types of switches can be used as desired.
V. Third Alternative Embodiment
With reference to
The above descriptions are those of the preferred embodiments of the invention. Various alterations and changes can be made without departing from the spirit and broader aspects of the invention as defined in the appended claims, which are to be interpreted in accordance with the principles of patent law including the doctrine of equivalents. Any references to claim elements in the singular, for example, using the articles “a,” “an,” “the,” or “said,” is not to be construed as limiting the element to the singular.